tv Your Bottom Line CNN February 6, 2010 9:30am-10:00am EST
bottom line with gerri willis starts now. >> good morning. i'm gerri willis and this is "your bottom line." coming up, make a smooth transition into a new job, changing careers without bundling the opportunity. plus, the very latest on toyota's massive recall. why some say the problem is far more complex than just your gas pedal. and today's free for all.
tips and tricks to improve the quality of your life without spenti spending a dime. the show that saves you money starts right now. so a lot of us are thinking about finding a job. if you're trying to change careers right now or you're planning to make a job switch in the future, you want to hear our next guest. tom is the senior managing editor of yahoo! hot jobs. he squloins us now from sanfrancisco. tom, great to see you again. you know, a lot of people -- >> gerri, great to be with you, too. >> a lot of people are calling the recovery we're going through right now a statistical recovery and human recession pep with can't seem to get any traction on this job market. what's the first step you're going to take if you're going to make that change before you accept an offer? >> well, you deaf nitdly want to make sure you do lots of research. switching is always a gamble. and the more research you do, the more assurance you'll have that this is right for you. and especially if you're changing industries, doing a
career change, you need to make sure that you know about whether you need to get additional training or whether you have skills that are transferrable. of course, you always want to research whether the job growth is good in that particular industry. >> you get lots of surprises along the way if you make a big career change. you say, though, that you shouldn't leave your old employer on bad terms. we know there are a lot of feel out there who really want to change jobs. how do you manage, how do you negotiate that change? how do you go from one place to the other without having bad blood? >> well, you definitely want to make sure that you cultivate good ties with your current co-workers, because you know, they may be references for you. so -- and when you do leave, you know, ask them if they can be references. because if you leave on bad blood, i mean, employers today definitely check on your background. and some of that stuff may come up and may come back to haunt you if you do leave with bad blood. >> so we know from the numbers
released just this week that the number of people who lost their jobs in this recession is probably far greater than we originally thought. so the more work you can do up front, getting advice, for example, from people who may have made similar career changes, this would seem to be critical, right, in making any kind of big transformation? >> definitely, you definitely want to get advice from people that you trust because, again, this is -- this could be a risky move for you. and you don't want to do it alone. you might have blind spots in terms of what your strengths and weaknesses are. if you talk to people that you thru trust, you may get some really good advice on what you need to work on. but also, go through your network and talk to people who might know this industry better than you, might know the job function better than you. >> do you think people have realisticic expectations when they go into a new job like this? do they know what to expect? >> it's hard to say. especially the way people are feeling now. i think a lot of people might just think, oh, the grass is
going to be greener. i got to get out of this job. it's really important to be realistic about your expectations. particularly around salary or happiness. just because you make more salary at a new job doesn't mean you're necessarily going to be happy with that job. you've really got to think about why it is you want to switch, what you're looking for. and then make a plan. think about where will this change get me in one year or where will it get me in three years, is it where it want to be? >> i guess money isn't everything. thanks for your herm todlp toda turning now from your job to your house. new research suggests that when a home's value falls below 75% of the amount on the mortgage the owner starts to think about walking away, even if he or she has the money to keep on paying. but walking away from your home, mailing in the keys to your lender should be the last resort. doing so will ruin your credit in years to come. instead, get on the phone with your lender, ask for what they call the loss mitigation
department and explain your situation. if you've lost a job or had a serious illness in the family make sure you have the documents to prove it. you may be able to get your loan modifies, meaning your interest rates or other terms of your mortgage changed or altered to your advantage. you may also get a forebar rans. granted, you may find your lender unwilling to cooperate with you but you owe it to your financial future to at least give these strategies a shot. one other place to go for help, the home ownership preservation foundation is a hud certified, non-profit organization that can give you advisor resources to work out a plan. give them a call at 1-888-995-hope. toyota recall makes a major turn. word now that the danger may will electrical. we're going to keep you and your family safe. but up next, the best places to invest. we want to help you make the most of your money. with just 5 calories a packet. new sun crystals all-natural sweetener.
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while we talk, right? [ laughing ] yeah, come on. whatever your destination, fidelity has the people, guidance, and investments to help you find your way. fidelity investments. turn here. valentine's day just a week away. and we all know about the stress money can cause in a relationship. so should you and your loved one share investments, invest separately, together? here to help us, neil parmer with "smart money" magazine and he's going to tell us the pros and cons when it comes to investing with your partner. neil, i have lots of opinions on this.
it can be hard to invest together because people have difference investing styles. >> very true. especially with the recession we are seeing financial cracks in the rlgs ship where more wives are more con tefr siv, more men want to stay the course. >> tensions in fightsing but you know to begin with sometimes you have a different investing style. my husband likes to try to market time. i keep my money working all of the time. there's no way we can invest together, is there? is there any way to come to some kind of meeting point halfway? >> you can always agree on having certain product where's you invest together. perhaps some things less risky where you both agree. it's always a good idea experts say today to split up the assets and go with your own investing styles rather than fight with one another. >> it can take a lot of wind out of your sails when you have to argue everything you do. i want to talk a little bit about income differentials. this is really important, particularly now when some people have either been laid off, maybe they've had to take a pay cut along the way. what do you do when one person earns a lot more money than the other? >> it's a great question because a lot of people who used to earn
more still feel they need to put in the same amount as they used to. very few couples these days are earning 50/50 equal incomes. split it up, maybe 60/40 or 70/30 and put that into an account and have fun money sitting there. >> so you guys can both do something. this in some ways comes down to control, don't you think? >> it does. >> some people can't give up control. some people can't share control. some people don't want any control. how do you navigate those personality differences? >> it's interesting that now more women are actually taking ownership of their finances. learning more about investing, researching. >> we make more money. >> that's true. the problem is over the lifetime they're still living 5 to 10 years longer but making less. it's good idea to save longer or get more aggressive closer time to retirement. >> you say and this is interesting, double your risk. you double your risk if you invest separately. now, why would that be? >> a lot of couples don't
actually sit down and see what stocks they've chosen. they both end up picking the companies and the companies decrease you've lost the same amount of machine any each. in the past a lot of them would choose one stock together. now you're not only paying separate xhagss for the trades you're see that that risk is doubling. >> neil, do you see as people get older they tend to merge more efficiently without less fighting, do people come to agreement more or do they come to less agreement because they both are earning more and more money? >> generally experts are saying they are getting a little bit better about investing together but with the crash what has happened is that people now say, no, much more conserve tip. i just didn't speak up early enough. now they're saying i want to take ownership and have some say in my finances. >> i want to have some say in my finances and maybe even do it together this valentine's day. thank you so much. one great way to save money for retirement is a roth ira and there are new rules this year that make it a good time to move your money from a regular ira to a roth. greg mcbride is a senior financial analyst for
bankrate.com. the big change here is the income limitations are going away. but tell me this. why would you make the change? because you're going to have to pay a very big tax bill. >> there are a number of advantages to the roth ira. if you're young, think of a snowball rolling downhill. you want to pay taxes which than account value is small, thot when you're at the bottom of the hill and retirement and it's bigger. also, uncle sam has a lot of bills to pay. it's a possibility that tax rates could go up in the future, converting now into a roth is a hedge against higher tax rates in the future. it gives you another lever to pull in retif tirement because this is money you can get to without being taxed and you don't have to start taking money once you reach a certain age which you do with a traditional ira. >> that's a big deal, being able to leave your money in place. for example, when the market fell apart you could have sat on the side in-linlinesidelines. >> people are living more and more. triple digits. it's nooi nice to know you've have money for later in life.
>> film retired and i don't have income, it seems my tax rate would be lower. >> that's one of the advantages of the roth ira. you can actually pull money out without it bumping you into a higher tax bracket. let's say the social security and pension has you bumping up, this gives you tishl spending power without pushing you into a higher tax bracket. >> any other changes that are coming to make it better to be in a roth? >> one thing that's unique to this year only if you convert in 2010 you have the option of deferring that tax bill paying half in 2011 and half in 2012, again, that's for conversions done this year only. >> all right. it would have been great if this happened last year when the market was tanking. >> exactly. but the income limit prevented that and now the door is open. >> let's talk about iras in case folks out there don't really know what it is. it's a savings and retirement vehicle. how much can you set aside each year? >> if you're under age 50, up to $5,000. if you're 50 or over, you can take advantage of what are called catch-up contributions.
your maximum would be $6,000. >> all right. it's a great way to save. and big changes coming that i hope are going to help a lot of people. i know you helped a lot of people today, greg. thank you. >> thanks, gerri. we have the latest on toyota's massive recall. new details coming up every day, every hour. what you need to know, next.
toyota owners, listen up. if you know somebody who owns a toyota, listen up, so i guess that's everybody now. this recall nightmare is far from over. with new concerns over electrical systems and dealers and drivers anxiously awaiting replacement parts, we want to get you the very latest news on this. joining us now is auto's editor for consumer reports. great to see you again. >> thank you. >> i just want to show folks the makes and models on the 8.1 million vehicles that have been recall sewed that you know if your car is one of these. let's take a look at this. the first list here are accelerator pedals that could stick on their own. toyota, carolla, you see the years of, you know, 2009, 2010 in some cases. look at those cars. there's another list we have as well that we want to show you. this is the gas pedal caught on the edge of the floor mat. you can see the list here. this is a lot of cars, john. i'm telling you, people out there are really, really concerned. federal investigators saying
this week that now it could be an electrical system problem. it seems to get bigger every day. tell us about this electrical system problem, what do we need to be aware of? >> what we're hearing now is the current generation, 2010 prius is having electrical system software problem underbraking. there's a lag when you press your brakes. you're giving your car brake to stop and then you feel like you have no brakes and pushing through. they're saying it's a software problem. the cars rolling off the line now have that fixed and they will do a job action to fix the cars already on the ground. >> prius, this is the make and the model that toyota has bet its future on and they're having problems with this now. is that a safety issue? >> well, it is a safety issue. simply because it's going to prevent you from operating the car smoothly upon braking if it's another situation where it's different from the other ones where the car's accelerate out of control. this one you're trying to slow the vehicle and you don't have the feeling. but there is braking. it's just that it's a little
disconcerting. if you keep pushing through, push through the brake as if you're pushing it through the floorboard, you're going to have braking power, according to toyota. >> we talked a lot about on this show about what went wrong in the mortgage market, the regulators stayed home. they were not awake. it seems like we might have a similar problem here. >> well, the regulators have been a little slow to react. there's been talk about the floor mat issue since 2008 with vehicles. >> wow. >> recalls last year. a lot of it. and only really went to japan and pushed toyota in december and early january to really do something about this. some of it might be staffing cuts. some may be the manufacture hasn't shared a lot of information. there have been commentary to people saying toyota has been slow to respond to this and incrementally expanding the recall and the job actions. >> you said, of course, in the age of twitter and blackberries a lot of people may be responding to what's been in the news as well. and that might have boosted some of the numbers, too. i want to talk about an offer a lot of toyota owners are getting this week in the mail from other
manufactures, auto manufactures, gm among them saying, hey, bring your toyota to us, we'll trade it in and give you $1,000. is that a deal i should take advantage of? >> there's blood in the water a advantage of? >> they're all sharks attacking in the water. it's good if p you have an old vehicle but done take the money and run because you're scared about your car. the likely of your camry, your rav4 having a problem is small. there have only been a small number that have had a problem. >> but it could be a real problem. >> it certainly can. >> tell us what to do if we run into this issue. give us the one, two, three on exactly the steps to take if you have this issue. >> first, keep your wits about you. don't pay attention to your radio or blackberry. secondly, if you feel it accelerating, put the car in neutral and push on the brake pedal to the floorboard. that will bring the car to a stop. once it's in neutral, you're not
driving the car anymore. the engine will be making noise but the car is not accelerating. pull to the side of the road slowly, call aaa, call toyota customer service. they may bring you a tow truck. >> they better bring me a tow truck. john, thanks for the advice. put it in neutral. we'll tell you the absolute biggest rip-offs out there right now that you may not even know about, all courtesy of cnnmoney.com and poppy harlow. what's the deal? >> looking at all the rip-offs out there right now, it's hard to pick the best one, but if you look at your cell phone brill and you're astonished, this is why. text messages are short. they're cheap. they cost a third of a cent for the company to deliver but they cost you 20 cents to send and ten cents to receive. do the math here, 6,500% mark-up. ouch. watch those text messages.
next one, name-brand painkillers. head to the drugstore, you know what i'm talking about. the ingredients are exactly the same but name brands are a lot more expensive. we went to duane reed here in new york city and checked out 500-count bottles of advil to generic, $8.45 compared to $5.25, a 60% mark-up, ger. >> i was in vegas last weekend, and you can get a cheap rate on a hotel room there, but they really hit you on the miscellaneous in-room charges. let me tell you. tell us about those. >> they do. i hope you had a good time in vegas, by the way. >> hard not to. >> you can get good deals on hotel room, et cetera. if you're in vegas, say you want to go to the hotel mini bar and buy some gummy bears, we found at new york city luxury hotels, gummy bears for i am not kidding $14, a 1,300% mark-up. compare to how much you pay at
the drugstore. hotel mini bars, folks, be very, very, very careful. they're going to rip you off. also movies in your hotel room. you want a night in, you want to stay in and watch a movie, look at the price before you click by because hotel in-room movies can cost you anywhere from $10 to $15 and if you go to the movie store, you rent them online it's about five bucks so a big mark-up there, about a 200% mark-up for in-room movies. we're in a recession. you have to watch your money. pay attention to these. they are america's biggest rip-offs. more on cnnmoney. >> my husband bought the gummy bear, of course. >> of course. men. men! >> poppy, thank you. >> you got it. still ahead, a total free-for-all. who doesn't love a good freebie? how you can shop and be happy without spending a pretty penny. [ male announcer ] talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction isn't easy. actually, doc, there is something i want to talk to you about. but it's definitely a conversation worth having.
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whether it's budgets, bills or just the chill in the air, winter can be tough for-of us. earlier i spoke with sara bernard, contributing editor to "new york" magazine who has things you can do right now to improve your mood while spending little to no money. your first tip here, i don't know, i feel like i'm hearing my
mother -- make your bed. really? >> yes. isn't that a great one? this actually came from gretchen gruben who wrote a whole book about the subject called the happiness project, trying to improve your mood in little ways. she says outer order produces inner order. if you have a really messy environment you're not going to feel settled inside, your mood will be down. but making your bed in the morning, you're setting yourself up for a great day and feeling like you've accomplished something immediately. >> even if that's the only thing. >> even if that's the only thing. sets the tone for the rest of the day. >> how can a simple quarter improve my day? >> what you want to do with that quarter is put it in a parking meter for somebody else, because if you actually create -- we were calling it random acts of kindness for other people -- >> pay it forward, right? >> yeah. you will find it elevates your mood to help other people. you're not getting credit, you can do it anonymously, but it lifts your mood. >> i love this thing about
yellow because i've always thought if you paint your house yellow when you're trying to sell it, people love that color. it's upbeat and warm. do you agree? >> i do. i also had this conversation with a color expert who studies the effects of differents on different people's moods and they said, this is somewhat logical, since it's the color of sunlight, if you surround yourself with a nice, sunny yellow, it lifts your mood. that's something we can all probably use in these dark winter days. >> green apples and cucumbers. what does that have to do with my mood? >> we talked to a lot of experts who pointed out the importance of scent and aroma to your mood and these are two of the biggest mood lifters, green apple and cucumber. if you want to buy a kand that will -- candle that has these scents or shampoo, buy them. >> or buy the real thing. diversify your cognitive portfolio. what does that mean?
>> try to do something different with your time every day. if you have the luxury of going to museums on mondays, go to movies on fridays, read books on sundays, mixsurself so you're w brain in different ways and creating a variety of things that you can become an expert on. that also improves your mood. >> to me the number-one thing on this list has to be eat dark chocolate. i love chocolate. i love candy. anybody tells me to do that, i'm going to follow that. it makes you feel happy. >> that was advice from an integrated specialist. dark chocolate is the new superfood. eating an ounce of it a day is scientifically prove on the make you happier. >> chocolate, wine, loving it. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> before we wrap things up this morning, we want to take a moment to say good-bye to a tremendous colleague and an even better friend. after nearly eight years at cnn, three with this show, cnn producer sara lane is leaving us to join the piece cos.